Friday, April 4, 2014

Poem of the Day: "Thief" by Sally Van Doren

"Thief" by Sally Van Doren is the Songs of Eretz Poem of the Day for April 4, 2014 and also the offering from Poets.org's Poem-A-Day for the same date.  A link to the poem, including the poet's notes, may be found here:  http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/23935.

Sally Van Doren (pictured) curates the Sunday Poetry Workshops for the St. Louis Poetry Center.  She is the author of two collections of poetry, one of which won a Walt Whitman Award.  Reference to this and additional biographical information about this up-and-coming poet may be found here:  http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/1638.


The poet reveals in her notes that she uses "kisses" after the manner of Catullus.  Perhaps Ms. Van Doren is referring to Catullus' use of the made up word basiationes which has been translated from the Latin to mean something like "kissifications," whatever that may mean.  Reference to this and additional musings about Catullus may be found here:  http://www.enotes.com/topics/poem-7-you-ask-me-how-many-kisses.  Additional information about Catullus, as noted in a previous review in Songs of Eretz, may be found here:  http://eretzsongs.blogspot.com/2014/01/review-of-marriage-daybook-by-nicole.html.

Ms. Van Doren captures an entire lifetime in "Thief," a poem of only forty words, arranged in four free verse couplets.  That fateful "kiss" in a parking lot next to a pick-up truck was THE pivotal moment in the speaker's life.  The speaker, the first person singular, could be the poet, or, more significantly, almost any reader of either sex.  Many backstories for the speaker can be imagined from reading this short, explosive poem.

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